Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898

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Student at the University of Michigan.

From the description of Mary Downing Sheldon letter, February 7, 1872. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 83801366

Mary Sheldon Barnes was Professor of History at Stanford University, 1892-1897. The photographs were collected by Barnes and other Stanford faculty and students for her Pacific Slope history class.

From the description of Photographs of North American Indians, 1892-1904. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754864680

Professor of History at Stanford University, 1892-1897.

From the description of Mary Sheldon Barnes collection of Pacific Slope materials, 1769-1898. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122369444

Collected by Mary Sheldon Barnes, Assistant Professor of History at Stanford, from participants of the revolt who were still alive in 1892 and residing in Napa Valley.

From the description of Mary Sheldon Barnes collection of Pacific Slope materials, 1892-1893. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122546442

Mary Downing Sheldon was born in Oswego, New York, on September 15, 1850, the oldest of five children of Frances Stiles and Edward Austin Sheldon, founder and principal of Oswego State Normal and Training School. She was educated in the public schools of Oswego until age sixteen, finishing at the Normal School in 1869. She taught there for two years. In 1871 Sheldon enrolled at the University of Michigan in a classical course, graduating in 1874. She returned to Oswego Normal to teach history, Latin, Greek and botany. In late 1876 she was invited to teach history at Wellesley College where she remained for two and one half years. Her teaching methods, unorthodox for the time and later called the source method, included the use of primary sources, discussion, and problem solving. Because of internal conflicts at Wellesley and poor health she resigned in 1879 and spent a year resting and then two years traveling abroad. She returned to Oswego Normal in 1882 where she wrote her groundbreaking work Studies in General History. It was published in 1885.

Mary Sheldon Barnes, undated

On August 6, 1885, she married a former student, Earl Barnes, who was eleven years her junior. Barnes, a teacher of history and psychology, was appointed head of the department of education at Stanford University in 1891. Mary joined the Stanford history department in March 1892 as assistant professor. She taught nineteenth-century European history and the history of the Pacific Slope. Together the they wrote Studies in American History which was published in 1891 and 1896. Mary subsequently published Studies in Historical Method. It was directed toward teachers and nonhistorians who wanted to understand and apply the historical method.

Both Mary and Earl Barnes resigned their posts at Stanford in 1897 to travel and write in Europe. Mary Sheldon Barnes died of heart disease in London, August 27, 1898. According to the author of Barnes' biography in Notable American Women, "[her importance] in American educational history rests chiefly upon her often misunderstood source method. She intended that students should study the primary sources in an 'independent and solitary' way using her questions as guides to problem solving...in order to develop the student's abilities to observe, to weigh evidence, to generalize and to exercise creative historical imagination....This was a more progressive approach than many teachers of her time or later could understand or apply....The source method hastened the improvement of more conventional history textbooks. Critical thinking came to characterize some of the better general education courses a half century later." (Robert E. Keohane in "Mary Sheldon Barnes," Notable American Women, 1607-1950, Cambridge, Belknap Press, 1971)

From the guide to the Mary Sheldon Barnes Papers MS 217., 1857-1948, 1880-1898, (Sophia Smith Collection)

Professor; Historian.

Born New York State, 1850; graduated from Oswego Normal School, 1869; taught there for two years; graduated University of Michigan, 1874; returned to Oswego Normal to teach history, Latin, Greek and botany. Beginning in 1876, taught history at Wellesley College for two and a half years. Her teaching methods, later called "the source method," included the use of primary sources, discussion, and problem solving. Returned to Oswego Normal in 1882; published groundbreaking work, Studies in General History, 1885. Married Earl Barnes, 1885, teacher of history and psychology; he was appointed head of department of education, Stanford University in 1891. Mary became assistant professor, Stanford, 1892. Together they published Studies in American History, 1891 and 1896. Mary subsequently published Studies in Historical Method. The Barnes resigned their posts at Stanford in 1897 to travel and write in Europe.

From the description of Papers, 1857-1948 (bulk 1880-1898). (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 47883890

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898,. Mary Sheldon Barnes collection of Pacific Slope materials, 1892-1893. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898,. Photographs of North American Indians, 1892-1904. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898. Canciones : collection of Mexican folksongs, 1883-1885. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Spain. Sovereign (1700-1746 : Philip V). Letter of instruction to the Count of Fuenclara : transcription and translation, 1744 Nov. 13. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Historical Seminary of Leland Stanford Junior University records, 1891-1901. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931. David Starr Jordan papers, 1861-1964. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Clark Wilson Hetherington scrapbook, Bulk, 1891-1896, 1888-1955 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Historical Seminary of Leland Stanford Junior University records, 1891-1901 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Hetherington, Clark W. (Clark Wilson), 1870-1942. Clark Wilson Hetherington scrapbook, 1888-1955 (inclusive), 1891-1896 (bulk). Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Schallenberger, Moses, 1826-1909. Moses Schallenberger papers, 1847-1898. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Bancroft, George, 1800-1891,. Hittell family papers, 1855-1916. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Hacienda de Nueva Almaden. Diario borrador : Notebook of accounts and special events, 1860-1890. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898. Papers, 1857-1948 (bulk 1880-1898). Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Mary Sheldon Barnes Papers MS 217., 1857-1948, 1880-1898 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Stanford University, School of Education, records, 1891-1894 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Mary Sheldon Barnes Pacific Slope Collection, 1769-1898 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections.
referencedIn Sheldon, E. A. (Edward Austin), 1823-1897. Papers of the college presidents : Edward Austin Sheldon. 1819-1897. SUNY Oswego, Penfield Library
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898. Mary Downing Sheldon letter, February 7, 1872. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898. [Collection of pamphlets on the teaching of history] Stanford University Libraries
creatorOf Galvez, Joseph de. Letter to Junipero Serra (transcription), 1768. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Duncan, W. Letter, 1893 Apr. 28, Metlakahtla, Alaska, to Mary Sheldon Barnes, Stanford. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898. Mary Sheldon Barnes collection of Pacific Slope materials, 1769-1898. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Barnes, Mary Sheldon, 1850-1898. Correspondence to Daniel Garrison Brinton, 1891. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. Letter, 1892 May 17, to Mary Sheldon Barnes. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Stanford University. School of Education. Stanford University, School of Education, records, 1891-1894. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Baldridge, William. person
associatedWith Barnes, Earl, 1861-1935 person
associatedWith Barnes, Mary Sheldon, person
correspondedWith Bates, Katharine Lee, 1859-1929 person
associatedWith Boggs, William M. person
associatedWith Boggs, William M. person
associatedWith Boyd and Braas, photographers. corporateBody
correspondedWith Burr, George Lincoln, 1857-1938 person
correspondedWith Carpenter, Henry Bernard, 1840-1890 person
associatedWith Chase, D. B. (Dana B.), person
associatedWith Clinton, J. L., person
associatedWith Cooper, Joseph Wright. person
associatedWith Cooper, Joseph Wright. person
correspondedWith D'Ooge, Martin Luther, 1839-1915 person
associatedWith Duncan, W. person
correspondedWith Durant, H. F. (Henry Fowle), 1822-1881 person
associatedWith Easterby, Anthony Y. person
associatedWith Easterby, Anthony Y. person
associatedWith Evencio, Pedro. person
associatedWith Frémont, Jessie Benton, 1824-1902. person
associatedWith Galvez, Joseph de. person
associatedWith Hacienda de Nueva Almaden. corporateBody
associatedWith Healy, Sarah E. Ide. person
associatedWith Hetherington, Clark W. (Clark Wilson), 1870-1942. person
associatedWith Hittell, Theodore Henry, 1830-1917. person
associatedWith Hudson, John W., person
associatedWith Ide, Simon. person
associatedWith Ide, William B. person
associatedWith Ide, William B. person
associatedWith Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942, person
correspondedWith Johonnot, James, 1823-1888 person
associatedWith Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931. person
correspondedWith Krusi, Hermann, 1817-1903 person
associatedWith Lindahl, Conrad, person
associatedWith Moses, Chief, ca. 1829-1899. person
associatedWith New Coso Mining Co. (Calif.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Nunn, E. Cuthbert (Edward Cuthbert), 1868-1914 person
correspondedWith Palmer, Alice Freeman, 1855-1902 person
correspondedWith Peck, Annie S. (Annie Smith), 1850-1935 person
associatedWith Rothrock, George H., person
correspondedWith Salmon, Lucy Maynard, 1853-1926 person
associatedWith Schallenberger, Moses, 1826-1909. person
correspondedWith Sheldon, E. A. (Edward Austin), 1823-1897 person
associatedWith Sheldon family family
associatedWith Sheldon family. family
associatedWith Spain. Sovereign (1700-1746 : Philip V) corporateBody
associatedWith Stanford University corporateBody
associatedWith Stanford University. School of Education. corporateBody
associatedWith Sutro, Adolph, 1830-1898. person
correspondedWith Thomas, Calvin, 1854-1919 person
correspondedWith Tyler, Moses Coit, 1835-1900 person
associatedWith University of Michigan corporateBody
associatedWith Vasquez, Don Pablo. person
associatedWith Vasquez, Don Pablo. person
associatedWith Wambaugh, Eugene. person
associatedWith Wellesley College corporateBody
correspondedWith White, Andrew Dickson, 1832-1918 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
San Benito (Calif.)
Puyallup Tribe of the Puyallup Reservation, Washington
Napa (Calif.)
Sonoma (Calif.)
Napa Valley (Calif.)
United States
Napa (Calif.)
Sonoma (Calif.)
Oregon
California
Oregon
Round Valley Indian Reservation (Calif.)
Mayfield (Calif.)
San Benito (Calif.)
California
California
Subject
Female friendship--United States--History--19th century--Sources
Sheep--California
Women historians--History--19th century--Sources
Women historians--United States--History--19th century--Sources
Sinkiuse--Columbia Indians--Photographs
Miners
Education, Higher--History--Sources
Europe--Description and travel--Sources
Indians of North America--Photographs
Mohave Indians--Photographs
Higher education--United States--History--Sources
College teachers--History--19th century--Sources
Female friendship--History--19th century--Sources
Historiography--19th century--Sources
Bear Flag Revolt, 1846
Sheep
Mescalero Indians--Photographs
Overland journeys to the Pacific
Miners--California
Apache Indians--Photographs
College teachers--United States--History--19th century--Sources
Nespelim Indians--Photographs
Nez Percé Indians--Photographs
Occupation
Collector
Function

Person

Birth 1850-09-15

Death 1898-08-27

Information

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Ark ID: w6z906v9

SNAC ID: 67803599